Condensation on walls and windows, if left untreated, can cause a great deal of damage to your home or building, as well as its contents. That’s because mold can form and grow in the damp conditions created by condensation. In addition to this, dampness can lead to many health-related conditions.
The building damage that can occur from too much moisture includes structural issues when walls collect the dampness. Wallpaper can peel and wall surfaces can stain and become weak when too wet. Health issues come in the form of respiratory difficulties, as well as eye and skin irritations from exposure to moldy environments caused by in the moist air.
What Is The Cause of Condensation On Windows And Walls?
The easy answer to what is the cause of condensation is high humidity. Humidity is the term used to describe the moisture content of the air we breathe.
Too much moisture creates damp conditions, where mold spores thrive.
Too little moisture in the air creates the opposite – dry conditions – which has its own health problems.
How Do I Reduce Condensation In My Home?
In your home, you have many tools and method available at your disposal to reduce condensation. Plus, by changing some of your habits you can easily get rid of condensation issues altogether.
Having to wipe your windows from the inside frequently, or noticing condensation forming on walls, is a sure sign of high moisture in the air.
Here are some tips to help you reduce the humidity:
1. Indoor Appliance Use
One of the main culprits in altering the moisture content inside a home is any activity that uses water. This includes showers, washing and drying clothes, and even cooking. One easy way to reduce condensation is to ensure all rooms or appliances are properly vented to control humidity.
Closing doors between rooms is also a good way to keep moist air from escaping from a bathroom or kitchen into the rest of the house. When humid air reaches colder rooms, condensation can form once the warm air touches a cold surface such as a window or exterior wall.
Another way to control the moisture content in a kitchen is by either covering the pots that are cooking to keep the moist air trapped or by using a range hood fan. A range hood fan works best when it sucks up the moist air and sends it outside through vent ducts or pipes. Some range hoods just suck up the air from the stovetop and then blow it directly out the top of the range hood, which will do nothing for the moisture content in the whole room.
2. Around The House
Pets and plants create moisture that can be controlled… aquariums can be covered and plants can be moved outdoors, if possible. The placement of household furniture can also have an effect on the interior humidity. Move items away from walls to allow air to circulate.
Cupboards, wardrobes and other storage spaces should not be over filled. The way to prevent moisture from building in these places is to load them in such a way that air movement is not hampered. Opening a window in a ‘stuffy’ room can also be a quick remedy.
Although you want air to circulate in and around your home, drafts that contribute to heat loss do not help. You can prevent this by draft proofing any openings around doors and windows that are not properly sealed. The double glazed window may also be beneficial.
Another large source of moisture inside the home can be from drying washed clothes inside. Even if you are not using a clothes dryer, water evaporating from clothes can increase the humidity levels inside dramatically. This is made even worse because many people may only do this when they can’t place washing outside (ie. when it is raining), when humidity is higher than normal anyway.
One more handy trick is to open curtains and drapes on sunny days. The heat from the sun will help dry window surfaces of any moisture forming.
3. Moisture Entering From Outside
If you have damp conditions under your house, it can come up through the floor and cause moisture issues inside the house itself. You may have to look into methods to dry the areas under the house, such as installing ag-pipe or storm water drains to divert water away from the house.
Ensuring good ventilation can also help. Blocked weep holes and creating sub-floor cross-flow or ventilation can help to eliminate moisture buildup under the house, which can help to reduce condensation in the rest of the house.
Moisture can also enter through the ceiling. It is good to ensure that your gutters are in good condition, and are not blocked and drain well. Also, check for damaged tiles or other roofing material that can allow water to enter the roof cavity.
Have a look at the short video below that goes into some more detail of what to look for with moisture and condensation around the home.
Other Ways To Manage & Stop Condensation
Monitor With A Hygrometer
The more you know about the moisture content in your home, the better equipped you are in dealing with the situation. One handy tool that helps is a hygrometer. This device will give you accurate readings of the relative humidity which you can then act upon.
To read more information on some of the best hygrometers on the market, click here.
Using a Humidifier
Many people use humidifiers to make the air more comfortable. Dry air can cause skin irritation and breathing difficulties. If you use an indoor humidifier, the hygrometer will let you know when the humidity is at a safe level. Once your home reaches that, turn off your humidifier, otherwise, the excess moisture may start to cause condensation problems.
Using a Dehumidifier
Conversely, a popular way to reduce the humidity levels inside a house is to use a dehumidifier. There are many different dehumidification options available, coming in all different sizes, shapes, and models. So depending on your specific circumstances, you will be able to find the right choice to help eliminate any moisture problems you have.
A desiccant dehumidifier may be all you need to remove moisture from a closet, linen press or cupboard. A small portable dehumidifier may be the solution to high moisture content in individual rooms or a small basement.
Or using one of the best whole house dehumidifier systems is also another way to regulate the moisture content inside your entire home. See our pick of one of the best whole house dehumidifiers here.
Automatic Humidity Control Systems
As well as humidifiers and dehumidifiers that can have automatic humidity control built in, you can also buy extractor fans, as well as humidity sensors that connect to fans and other equipment, to control the humidity in your home. These act well as a set-and-forget system that automatically turns on to extract moist air from areas such as bathrooms, laundries and certain commercial applications where moisture is a problem.
To read more about these products, make sure to check out this article for more information.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce moisture buildup in your home is to circulate the air. The installation of a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is one way to move the air around your home but they are costly. Fans (stand-up, ceiling or oscillating) are all effective in creating air flow when there is none. Opening a window or two to create a cross breeze can also help with this.
It Is Not Hard To Get Rid Of Condensation
Because condensation is so easy to control if you know how to do it, there is no need to live in conditions that may cause damage to your home or belongings, or even worse, cause you to be sick. Options range from:
- simple solutions such as opening a window,
- fixing leaks and diverting water away from your home,
- using small portable dehumidifiers or whole house dehumidifiers, or
- installing humidity controlled extractor fans.
Regulating humidity is good for you and your home. Which option will you choose?
So if you have a moisture issue in your home, then why not try one of the methods above to stop condensation. Implement one or more of the simple measures here to control your condensation problems once and for all.